March 1st 1992
I walked into the double wide trailer that we called our church. My hands still sticky with that mornings cherry poptart.
It had a sign out front that I am sure some of the church ladies painted with tempera paint. Even though it was faded and peeling it screamed Imlay Baptist Church!!!
It always smelled of old lady perfume and how dusty fake flowers smell. I can't explain it.
I made sure to wear all white. I wasn't sure what I was doing, or why I was doing it.
All the other kids were.
Everyone was SO HAPPY when I accepted Jesus into my heart. They were all SO PROUD. I felt like I had accomplished something huge. All I had to do was repeat after them...accept a lord and saver (I'm sure they said saver) and ask for forgiveness. Easy praise and pats on the back. Yay me!
They made us sit in the front row. I sat on my hands...like I still do. We stared at the walls as Rev. Monte Chitty went through some adult jabber on the beauties of salvation.
It was hard to sit still and try to pay attention. Mr. Chitty was in his highway patrol outfit. He had one of those ridiculous mustaches. The family were transports from Texas, his accent was distracting.
They sang old hymns. ...At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light...
I do not understand how so many of these women were so tone deaf. There was no way I was gonna be able to doze with that pitch stabbing me in the ears.
He pulled back the lid on what looked like an extra deep bath tub. It wasn't much longer than the one at home. It had cheap wood paneling in the sides. He said the water was a little cold, but it would have to do.
He called us up, one by one, he dunked them in the water. He'd put his hand over their nose and mouth, say some shit, and shove their heads down. They'd come up, soaked and choking. He'd ask them how they feel, they'd answer cleansed, new, alive, ect. Everyone would cheer and clap.
Finally he called my name. My palms were sweaty. He helped me up. I put my foot in...it was cold, it shocked me, I slipped, he caught me before I went under.
I asked him if I could hold my own nose, he wouldn't let me. I don't remember what he asked me, but I agreed and down my head went. I came up sputtering and slapping. He grabbed my hands and asked me how I felt. "Wet." He looked disappointed.
I stood up, I was damn cold and shaking. Everyone was staring at me up there. They weren't clapping....or cheering. Just staring. Mr. Chitty sons mouth was wide open. As I looked around for my towel I happened to look down. I realized wearing all white was a terrible idea. My clothes were see-thru and my Tweety Bird underwear and his huge unblinking eyes were glaring at everyone.